Execution key to Ironton’s victory

Published 12:30 am Monday, September 26, 2016

Jim Walker

They say any offense will work if a team executes. Well, the Ironton Fighting Tigers’ offense worked well Friday night.
Ironton racked up 366 total yards including 272 on the ground in a 41-0 Ohio Valley Conference win over the South Point Pointers.
Ironton coach Mark Vass said balance on offense and a solid defense were the difference. He added that finally getting lineman Levi Langdon back in the lineup helped the offense.
“All week long we emphasized the execution and I thought that’s what they did. All across the board everyone pretty much took care of their job,” said Vass.
“The line play was better when we were pounding the ball. I thought Levi Langdon did a good job — him and (Tyler) Webb together gave us a little push. Getting that little push at the line of scrimmage makes a world of difference.”
Garrett Carrico led a balanced running game with 65 yards on 13 carries and two touchdowns. Tanner Wilson had 57 yards on nine attempts and Ethan Duncan ran nine times for 47 yards and two scores.
Seth Fosson had 81 yards on two carries with a touchdown for the offensive backups.
Quarterback Jake Isaac was 5-of-7 passing for 94 yards and a touchdown. Eli Willis caught three passes for 71 yards and a TD while Jourdyn Barrow had two catches for 23 yards.
“We worked hard on our timing and our passing game and our protection. We just tried to simplified things and just make sure we execute,” said Vass.
“With things getting a little thin around here (injuries) you’ve got to make things simple and make sure you execute and take care of the ball and that’s what they did.”
Defensively Ironton limited the Pointers to 89 net yards — 64 rushing and 25 passing. Jared Whitt led the Pointers with 52 yards on 11 carries.
“I thought (the defense) shut them down for the most part except for a couple of plays here and there. We’re still not tackling real well. But overall the defense was solid and didn’t give up any big plays. Any time you have a zero you have a good defensive day,” said Vass.
South Point fumbled on the third play of the game and Fosson recovered at the 8-yard line.
Two plays later Carrico went one-yard and Tre Neal’s conversion kick made it 7-0.
After a three-and-out, Ironton drove 60 yards in nine plays capped by Duncan’s 1-yard run to make it 14-0. Duncan had a 23-yard run to start the drive and put Ironton in scoring position.
A 10-yard pass to Barrow and a 30-yard completion to Willis helped get Ironton to the Pointers’ 22-yard line to end the quarter.
Isaac then hit Willis with a 22-yard scoring pass on the first play of the second quarter and it was 21-0.
The Fighting Tigers got the ball back with 8:28 left in the half and proceeded to eat up all but 51 seconds as they drove 77 yards in 15 plays. Duncan ran 4 yards for the score and a 28-0 lead.
Barrow came up with an interception and returned it 45 yards to the Pointers’ 22. Neal attempted a 39-yard field goal that was just wide to the right as time ran out.
Ironton took the second half kickoff and march 63 yards in eight plays with Carrico running 14 yards for a touchdown to make it 34-0 with 8:43 on what became a running clock.
Fosson completed the scoring as he broke loose on a 69-yard scoring run on the second play of the fourth quarter.
Ironton moved to 2-3 and shares the OVC lead with three other teams at 2-0 including next week’s opponent and league favorite Chesapeake.
“It’s definitely good to get some momentum, but we have three good games coming up for sure. It’s all about Chesapeake this week. We know they’re pretty explosive on offense and have some pretty good athletes. We know what’s ahead of us,” Vass said of the unbeaten Panthers.

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